China has issued its latest action plan on human rights, glossing over minor issues such as online censorship and press freedom but re-affirming commitments to increase broadband penetration in the country. The National Human Rights Action Plan of China, which covers the next three years, claims to set out out “comprehensive …
Why should China care?
Government monitoring/control/censorship of the internet doesn't seem to be a human rights issue in the rest of the world. Most countries seem to be converging at different rates on the Chinese model, so they hardly have any (non-hypocritical) pressure on them.
Re: Why should China care?
No one is really converging on the China model, especially not the US.
The reality is, that the the US has one of the most deregulated telecom environments in the work, and neither federal or state gov't own any stakes in any telecoms. And while there is talk of setting up country wide blacklists, and so forth, the ideas really aren't implementable. You don't even need to register fibre optic lines running across borders, as long as you have a right-a-way on both side of the border. There are thousands of points of access into the US internet, just along the US-Canada border.
You have to remember, the one group that Americans hate more than terrorists and child molesters, is other Americans. So listening to media reports about censorship is about useless as using headlines to determine the murder rate (news flash, the murder rate is going down despite popular opinion it is rising).
Re: Why should China care?
But but but Fox says you can't leave your house [1950's style, white picket fence and all] without been forced into an islamic gay democrat marriage.
Re: Why should China care?
Perhaps 'converging' is too strong a term for it, but regardless of the practicalities of actually censoring and controlling internet traffic, it seems that most of the initiatives proposed by governments head towards the negative side from the perspective of ordinary citizens.
It doesn't matter if legislation is knocked down - the ideas proposed tend towards the Chinese model, rather than away. That being so, I maintain that Government criticism of China would be a little bit hypocritical.
An Islamic gay democrat marriage
I salute you, sir, for your sarcasm forced a keyboard clean.
And as a gay married muslim American
...may I say that Mohammed and I are very very excited at the prospect of adopting our very own little African baby just as soon as our Malawi lawyer gets the paperwork sorted!
The changes aren't apparent, as the writer suggests. Minimum wage has gone up by 40% in the past 5 years (obviously not much by western comparison, but a huge shift to account for so many workers). This is evident by news stories in business mags that companies are moving out of China to setup shop elsewhere e.g. Thailand, Philipines, India etc. where it is already knocking on China's doorstep regarding manufacturing competititveness.
China is taking small steps, and I expect in 30 years they will be a much more open society than they are now, new leaders will be in power, leaders who have spent time in the west, leaders who have grown up with technology, and they will have free speech, they will have lowered the great firewall.
The leaders of today are scared of free speech, they are scared of civil unrest and loosing control, they can see what would happen if there was massive civil unrest, and they are right to be scared. Civil unrest in China should scare us all.
Our own government is slowly creeping censorship on us, curtailing our liberties, and it scares me that we are loosing our rights.....
Re: Small Steps
I have lived in China, with wife and kids, for a long time. I speak the language, know the culture, the history, etc.
No, they will not become the west. You see, when you let the people vote the politicians in, you get the businessmen to control the politicians. You get the NDAA, the TSA, the Patriot Act, same as China, really. You get corporate controlled media. You get Ron Paul blocked out. You know, that kind of stuff. Ever heard what Iceland people did to their bankers and political model? No, guess not...
Also, let's not forget to remember how great that democratic stuff turned out for India, right? The most polluted and corrupt place on earth, admitted by every Indian guy I've met, without my even asking.
Here politicians vote politicians, from top to bottom. Promotion is based on success. And you can yap all you want about your Human Rights Kool-Aid, I don't care. I live here. My source of information is not your corporate controlled media, but real life, around me. People here are just fine. There's much less regulation in everything, and that causes the economic boom that the USA had, for the same reasons, in the fifties. And it also causes the pollution and bribery. But, overall, things have been steadily improving. Here you have ghost cities, from economic success (as opposed to economic failure in the USA)
People here are actually freer than in America, bar one simple commandment: Thou Shall Not Piss on Your Government. They are hard working, sensible people, no surprise they get along well with the Germans. And yes, you can sneer at these countries having dictators in the past. But guess what, wake up and smell the roses: today the dictators are dead, the people are happy, and these countries are the most prosperous in the world.
Before you judge, have some experience. Or, just delude yourself that your news media is impartial and without agenda, like fair virgins dressed in white. Your call.
As another expat, I'll raise a glass to that!
Re: Small Steps
So if everyone is so happy with the way things are in the People's Republic, why is the Internet censored? Why shouldn't the population be allowed to criticise their government? Just because the press in the West isn't perfect, does that mean we can't criticise China's system of rigid control of information? Perhaps you've been there too long, comrade. There's nothing wrong with freedom of speech.
Re: "why is the Internet censored"
Different people, different ways.
You can criticize all you want, you live in a theoretically "free" country. The Chinese have a different culture, different social needs, a different social structure. Stop trying to impose your view of what is right on other people.
Re: Small Steps
Human Rights. In a world of vastly different cultures and beliefs. Right. Defined and Imposed, of course, by the guy with the biggest gun. Imposed usually against the will of most victims, only to result either in failure, more problems, and profits for the aggressor.
Sorry, but really, you've been brainwashed haven't you? Do you also believe in Unicorns? In most schools, the guy imposing his beliefs by force, isn't he simply referred to as the bully? So what's so different when its a nation state that does it? It's now sanctified by God?
You've been raised to fully meet the expectations of those who really control your country. Congratulations.
I'm not sure how much broadband is in the UK, but here in Beijing I pay about 1500RMB a year for a pretty decent connection speed. (I think it's about 40Mb, they just upgraded it).
Also, there's (currently) no bandwidth restrictions. I have to use a VPN to get around the Great Firewall though.
Since when is broadband Internet access...
...a "human right"?
Re: Since when is broadband Internet access...
With more and more government services accessible from the Internet, with all utilities companies clamoring for your email and begging you to log on to their portal, with more and more shopping options available from your computer screen it's only a matter of time until Internet access is considered just as important as being able to phone 911 (or whatever number you use to call for help).
Where I live, in addition to the previously mentioned items, there are no less than two supermarket franchises that have an Internet site where you can shop the virtual aisles, place you order, pay for it and decide what time you go pick it up. They have a special Internet Delivery parking area that looks a heck of a lot like a Mc Donalds drive-in, just scaled up a bit. You stop the car in front of a booth, give you order number, a clerk puts the bags in your trunk and off you go - all the pleasures of shopping without the screeching kids, bustling busybodies and entire families who seem to consider that clogging the aisles on Saturdays is the height of their week's entertainment.
So we're already getting to a stage where you can organize practically all your administrative and daily needs from a screen. We're at the CAN point, we'll get to the MUST BE ABLE TO point soon enough.
"Human Rights are...
"... what WE say you can have..."
Sorry, which country were we talking about again?
That the US State Department noted «deterioration in key aspects»
of the «human rights» situation in the People's Republic of China in 2011 is as little surprising as that Phil Muncaster finds it relevant here to provide a link to the document. For some strange reason, however, Phil has forgotten to provide a link to the description of the «human rights» situation in the United States published by the Chinese State Council Information Office, and which can be found here : http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2012-05/26/content_15392452.htm. My own take on this would be that the most basic human right is that to life and that as a consequence, that country which refrains from conducting foreign wars of aggression in order to attain the political and economic goals of its ruling elite is automatically less a violator. But I am certain that Mr Obama and Ms Clinton would disagree and instead claim that all their wars are «righteous wars», which only kill people in the service of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful - and God Bless America....